Sermon and Bible Study Database
Author: Kent Berghuis
The Threshold of Faith (Mark 9:14-29) Main idea: True faith is recognizing our own inability and the Lord's ability. I. The Search for Help (14-19). A. The demon-possessed boy exposes our natural inability to control our circumstances. --Sickness, poverty, accidents, and countless other situations remind us of our inability. --The boy has symptoms of epilepsy, but the Bible clearly attributes this to a demon. This does not mean that all disease (or epilepsy) is demonic, but this one was (and some may still be). B. The failure exposes the disciples' inability to do the Spirit's work in their own power. --They had cast out demons before (6:12), but this case was apparently more difficult (cf. v. 28). --The event comes right after the mountain top experience of the transfiguration, which adds to the mystery of God's interweaving of spiritual events in our lives. II. The Struggle for Faith (20-29). A. Belief is often mixed with unbelief (22-24). --The man shows faith by bringing his son, but he shows doubt by saying "if." B. Christ has the ability to control what we can not control (25-27). --He could heal the boy no one else could heal. --He could raise him from the dead if necessary, as he was telling them that he would himself be raised from the dead (8:31, 9:9-10, 9:31). C. Our inability is linked to our failure to rely completely on God (28-29). --The "backbone" of the will is developed by bending it through discipline. Spontaneity is developed when we increase our speed of doing his will. The scope of the will is developed in area after area. The will gains momentum and more and more of God's will is done swiftly. Conclusion: 1. Are there areas of your life that you can not control? Are you searching for help in the right place? 2. Is your belief mixed with unbelief? Which of the two will you let prevail? 3. Are you learning to depend more completely on God? This will build faith when it seems weak.